Watford v Leeds United: Jesse Marsch press conference every word - Gelhardt, Phillips, Summerville, Meslier, Klaesson, Victor Orta meeting

Leeds United head coach Jesse Marsch spoke to the media today ahead of Saturday's crunch clash at fellow Premier League relegation battlers Watford.

By Lee Sobot
Thursday, 7th April 2022, 6:06 pm

Watford have lost four of their last six games and the Hornets only have 22 points but Roy Hodgson's side have a game in hand on fifth-bottom Leeds who are eight points ahead of them.

Jesse Marsch's Whites are now on a three-match unbeaten run having followed up epic victories at home to Norwich City and away at Wolves before the international break with Saturday's 1-1 draw against Southampton at Elland Road.

The Hornets have lost their last eight games at home.

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FACING THE PRESS: Leeds United head coach Jesse Marsch, above, is holding his pre-Watford press conference today. Photo by LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images.

Jesse spoke to the media at 1pm on Thursday lunchtime and here is every word from the Whites head coach.

Watford v Leeds United: Jesse Marsch press conference every word

Last updated: Thursday, 07 April, 2022, 22:45

  • Whites face Hornets in crunch clash at Vicarage Road on Saturday
  • Watford second-bottom, eight points behind Leeds but with game in hand
  • Leeds six points clear of drop zone
  • Jesse Marsch spoke the media at 1pm on Thursday

For Leeds United boss Jesse Marsch’s pre-Watford press conference today, all the news to follow here.

While we wait....how we expect Leeds to line up at Watford

Five minutes to go....

Joe Gelhardt injury update likely to be near the top of the list.

All set for Jesse Marsch

First up - team news

“I will talk a little about some injuries like I have done recently and then we will go into questions. There’s no real updates other than Tyler, Junior and Patrick are all making good progress and then Jamie Shackleton is almost ready to train but not quite. And most of the other players I think are available and ready to go, I think all of them are available.”

On Cooper and Phillips being back

“I said after the match that both will have a big effect in our group both on the pitch and off. Liam, I thought, put in a courageous 90-plus minute performance and was one of our best players in the match and matched tactically what we want from the game which I think in his first run out was really impressive for him to adapt so quickly and easily. And then to have Kalvin on the pitch I think everybody saw that it brought poise to our group, that he helped settled the game down. I heard him say after the game that he didn’t do much but just by being on the pitch for us I think that that presence meant a lot. It’s really great to have those guys back and we used this week to get them more and more to 100 per cent so I think they will be ready to contribute on Saturday.”

“I think that Watford are a really disciplined, defensive group. They don’t give much away, they stay pretty organised, they stay very compact, sometimes defending deep. But they are incredibly aggressive and often lethal in transition moments. They have the second most chances of shots in transition in counter phases in matches in the league and it’s because they really look to play to that strength so we have to be very aware of that and often Watford is most dangerous when we have the ball. We have to make sure that we are balanced and how compact we are in our defence phases and counter pressing phases to make sure that we don’t allow their attacking players to be in open spaces and running at our defensive group. It’s a little bit tricky preparing for them because they rotate a lot of players, they have a talented group, a lot of good one v one players and every time I prepare for a match in this league it is hard to find weaknesses in the ways that teams do things. I know that Watford is a team that is low on the table and fighting relegation but I still think that Roy Hodgson has done a good job with them, that they are disciplined and organised and it will not be an easy match for us.”

On Hodgson still getting involved in training

“I have watched him for years in a lot of different places. He has been at the national team in a lot of different places and he has had an incredible career. The passion that he still has at his age is something to admire and I don’t know what I’ll be doing then because one year in a trainers’ life/in a manager’s life can feel like ten.”

Jesse is then told he is half his age...

“No he’s not! I have so much respect for the career that he has had and what he has accomplished in his career, no doubt.”

On the big gap after the Watford game

“When the schedule comes out and we have to play a lot of games in a short amount of time or we have a pause, it’s about using those moments in the best way we possibly can to maximise every experience that we have. I am not the type that looks at when we have short turnaround or when we have long pauses, I think with short turnaround it is an opportunity for more players to get an opportunity to play and show that they are ready and my job to prepare the group and every single player within the group is really important in those moments. And then in the moment when we are still adapting to a new style of play and new demands physically for what we want the games to look like, training days to look like, a little bit more time can be a real benefit. For me, right now, it’s about focusing on everything that we need to do to be prepared for what Saturday is going to require.”

On 30 points so far - when you look at Chelsea, City and Arsenal coming up, how important is it to get points as quickly you can

“I look only at this match right now and I think that we have to understand what the mindset of Watford, that this is a massive opportunity for them to collect points and close the gap and so for us to focus on entirely what this game requires, to understand the mindset and mentality of what Watford will have, to understand that playing against a good team at their place will not be easy. All of these things are exactly what we are going to be focused on and prepared for and I think our group, especially after Aston Villa, has shown an understanding of exactly what is necessary for every match so we will make sure that we do it very carefully and prudently for this one.”

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